(Feature photo, courtesy Rebecca Reinertson)
The Faith Eagles Track and Field squad began their 2018 season at the Central College Invitational this past weekend, led by strong individual performances in men's discus and men's javelin.
Jacob Kirkwood (junior, Dorchester, Illinois), a returning All-American from last year's Eagles team, qualified for nationals in the discus with a toss of 42.64 meters, finishing in sixth-place. Kirkwood is coming off a strong sophomore season after finishing in fifth-place at the NCCAA national championships in the discus and third-place, nationally, in the shot put.
Tanner Van Beek (sophomore, Rock Valley, Iowa) qualified for nationals in the javelin with a throw of 44.56 meters. Van Beek finished in ninth-place in a field loaded with competition from larger schools.
For the girls, Coach Sauser was impressed with Laura Christensen's personal-best in the 100-meter dash. "It speaks a lot to the work she has put in," said Coach Sauser.
Sauser was also impressed with Abbie Blomberg's performances in the 400 and 800-meter events. "She's made a lot of progress," said Sauser. "You can tell her training and experience with the cross country team has really helped."
Overall, Coach Sauser was impressed with the results from the first meet of the year: "The first meet of the season is always tricky with the weather," said Sauser. "I was really happy with how well the kids competed. It was great to get a gauge on their performance versus the training they've put in. Overall, it was a positive showing for the whole team."
The Central College Invitational was the first of six track and field meets prior to the NCCAA National Meet in Winona Lake, Indiana. The next meet for Faith is Saturday, April 7th at the Cornell Invitational in Mount Vernon, Iowa.